Indonesia July trade surplus seen narrowing amid slowing global trade

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FILE PHOTO: A worker passes stacks of containers at the IPC Containter Terminal of Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta

JAKARTA – Indonesia’s trade surplus may have narrowed to $3.93 billion last month due to weakening export performance as global trade activity slows, according to economists polled by Reuters.

Southeast Asia’s biggest economy booked a larger-than-expected trade surplus of $5.09 billion in June on the back of palm oil exports resuming after a three-week ban was lifted in May.

The median forecast of 12 analysts in the poll was for exports to show growth of 29.73% on a yearly basis in July, down from June’s 40.68%.

July imports were seen rising 37.30% on an annual basis, compared with June’s 21.98% increase.

Bank Mandiri economist Faisal Rachman, who estimated July’s surplus at $3.85 billion, said export performance weakened amid slowing global trade activity and with the drop in coal and crude palm oil prices from a month earlier.

“Commodity prices continue to support export performance, yet the fear of global recession is a downward pressure on the prices,” he said, adding that imports have caught up with exports thanks to a recovering domestic economy.

(Polling by Devayani Sathyan and Arsh Mogre in Bengaluru; Writing by Stefanno Sulaiman in Jakarta; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)

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